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McLaughlin, F. (1967). Addendum to a Controversial Proposal. Some Observations on the Training Analysis. Psychoanal Q., 36:230-247.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:230-247

Addendum to a Controversial Proposal. Some Observations on the Training Analysis

Francis McLaughlin, M.D.


Psychoanalysis began as a highly individualistic undertaking. Over the years it has tended to become a more organized and institutionalized course of training and practice. The increasing acceptance of psychoanalysis as treatment and career has had both fortunate and unfortunate effects. Analytic ideas have been useful and have influenced an increasingly large number of persons. The useful effect on our culture is evident; at the same time problems have been created by this acceptance and influence.

The great burden of our present situation lies on the faculty, and particularly the training analysts, of our institutes. If we agree that the goal of psychoanalytic education is the development of dedicated, scholarly, and independent individuals, then it is evident that our responsibility is two-fold. We must be convinced that the people we accept, train, and graduate are motivated by genuine interest in psychoanalysis. This involves a deep and full commitment as students, for all of us no matter what our level of attainment, as well as the humility which is a requisite part of this status. To accomplish this it is imperative that the training analyst apply to himself the same criteria that we recommend be directed toward the candidate. This is constant and thorough scrutiny of his motivations, goals, and qualifications for the position which he occupies. Finally, we should make every effort to remove the analysis of our candidates, as far as possible, from any institutional connection. This poses problems but the advantages seem to more than outweigh the risks entailed.

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